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Business and Community

We live in interesting times. When attending a conference on how businesses can become involved in their communities, I was impressed at the interest that the business community has in ‘putting something back in’.

So many questions are being asked as the economy goes through all of it’s changes and adjustments. For many it is a time when belts are tightened and prospects seem uncertain. We are being asked these questions by our circumstances and being pressed to come up with solutions.

Accountable businesses
Accountable businesses

Often, life is oversimplified to a two dimensional rhetoric which is unhelpful for those seeking resolve to problems. Sometimes ‘business’ is categorically dismissed as mercenary and uncaring; sometimes ‘social enterprise’ is dismissed as fluffy and lost to ideals.

Of course neither is true as in reality we must dispense with absolute statements and contend with life on a case by case basis. Sometimes business loses it’s way and disconnects from the communities which make it thrive, and sometimes social enterprise falls victim to it’s own zeal forgeting how commerce and economy is a fundamental element of community.

How do we reconcile our society with our times ? Without having answers, I turn to the experts and understand that expertise is situated. Experto Crede. Society is built upon the loam of generations. We would be stupid not to utilise all the great thought available to us in libraries and archives.

We are doomed to repeat what we do not learn from. This can be said on an individual level, a generational level and a societal level (for want of…). For all the cynicism we can encounter and endorse, my feeling is one of optimism. What can we do ? We can study history and historigraphy, we can study economics and logic. These things by proof are not beyond us humans, and by store they are laid before us. Thinking we can change our futures.

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